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The Carbapenem Resistant Superbugs



The term ‘superbug’ is ascribed to any microorganism including viruses that demonstrate any form of antimicrobial resistance. They are a constant source of threat to human health especially that the world is running out of antibiotics.


Twelve families inclusive of bacteria and fungi known to be resistant to antimicrobials have been documented by the World Health Organization. In the bacteria group, Enterobacteriaceae resistant to Carbapenem antibiotics are a point of discuss.


The family consists of 30 genera and more than 100 species all of which are Gram negative bacteria. Major bacteria in this group are Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella and Shigella. They reside in the gut of humans and other animals and are referred to as pathogens of critical-priority because they pose a great threat to human health.


Enterobacteriaceae such as Klebsiella are often implicated in hospital acquired infections, the major known catheter-associated urinary tract infections. They are heavily resistant to the antibiotic Carbapenem creating healthcare treatment challenges and eventually raising costs. The ability of Enterobacteriaceae to produce toxins from their lipolysaccharide cell wall (a unique characteristic of all Gram-negative bacteria) upon death.


Enterobacteriaceae are able to transfer their resistance ability through genetic interactions. These resistance factor produces carbapenemase capable of breaking down carbapenem. In this way they exhibit resistance to carbapenem making them more dangerous especially in organ failure.


Immunocompromised patients are the most susceptible victims followed by hospitalized patients, this is because, Enterobacteriaceae are transmitted hand to mouth, through bodily fluids on contact with contaminated surfaces.

Pneumonia, Urinary tract infections, diarrhea are the most prominent infections which could possibly lead to septiceamia and eventually death.

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